The Best Mashed Potatoes



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This recipe for the best mashed potatoes is perfect for your Thanksgiving dinner or a weeknight family dinner. These potatoes are fluffy, creamy and rich, just the way the best mashed potatoes should be and made with sour cream and cream cheese.  Included are tips for how to reheat mashed potatoes.

Mashed potatoes are a beloved classic recipe and for very good reason. They define comfort food and pair perfectly as a side dish with a variety of different main dishes. Whether you’re wanting to wow your guests with the best mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving dinner, or you’re making them for a weeknight dinner, you can achieve delicious mashed potatoes every single time with a few simple tips! 

thanksgiving mashed potatoes with gravy

The Best Mashed Potatoes Ingredients

To achieve incredible Thanksgiving mashed potatoes, start with the ingredients.

  • Potatoes: Choose the right potatoes. Yukon gold potatoes are used in this recipe in place of the standard russet potato.  While russet potatoes result in fluffy mashed potatoes, there’s something about using Yukon gold potatoes that makes these mashed potatoes extra delicious! (Here’s a great guide outlining the differences between all of the different kinds of potatoes)
  • Cream cheese– softened cream cheese make these mashed potatoes extra rich and creamy
  • Butter – Butter is an essential component that helps give you a rich buttery flavor. Be sure to use real butter for the best results.
  • Sour Cream – Sour Cream is used alongside the cream cheese to make these potatoes creamy and delicious!
  • Milk – to achieve the creamiest mashed potatoes you’ll need milk. Feel free to warm the milk before adding it to the potatoes. Gradually add the milk until you achieve the desired consistency.
  • Seasonings – salt, black pepper and garlic powder are used to season these mashed potatoes to perfection. Adjust the amounts to taste.
  • Garlic – garlic adds flavor and beautiful aroma to the best mashed potatoes.
  • Chicken Broth – one of my favorite tips and tricks is to cover the potatoes with chicken broth instead of water. This adds extra flavor to the mashed potatoes.
the best mashed potatoes recipe

How to reheat mashed potatoes

Making mashed potatoes ahead of time can save you time and kitchen space, especially if you are hosting Thanksgiving Dinner. Mashed potatoes reheat beautifully whether you’re reheating them in the crockpot, microwave, on the stovetop or in the oven! The suggested way to reheat mashed potatoes is whatever method is most convenient for you. Here are a few suggestions.

  • slow cooker: with the slower cooker set to low, place the prepared mashed potatoes in the slow cooker. Add a tablespoon of butter and a splash of milk or cream if you wish. Stir, then heat on low for about 2-3 hours. Stir the potatoes every 30 minutes or so that they heat evenly. When potatoes are heated through to a safe serving temperature of 165 degrees F, switch the slow cooker to the warm setting to keep them warm until you are read to serve them.
  • microwave: transfer the prepared potatoes to a microwave-safe bowl or dish. Cover the mashed potatoes with a microwave safe lid or plastic wrap. Heat at 50% power for one minute, stir, then continue cooking at 50% power in 30 second increments until the potatoes are heated through. Add a splash of milk if the potatoes are too dry.
  • stovetop: transfer the prepared mashed potatoes to a pot. Heat over medium-low to low heat, stirring the potatoes every few minutes. This helps ensure that the potatoes heat evenly and don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Add additional liquid like a splash of milk or heavy cream and a tablespoon of butter if you wish.
  • oven: transfer the mashed potatoes to an oven-safe baking dish. Cover with foil or an oven-safe lid, then place the potatoes in a 350 degree F oven and heat for 20-30 minutes. Stir the potatoes halfway through to ensure that they heat evenly.

Mashed Potato Tips and Tricks

Mashing technique

A potato masher or ricer is a great way to make the best mashed potatoes! You can also use a stand mixer, but you will have the best results when using a potato masher or ricer.

Can mashed potatoes be made ahead of time?

Yes, mashed potatoes can be made 2-3 days ahead of time and reheat well in the microwave, slow cooker, stove top or oven.

Can I freeze mashed potatoes?

Yes, mashed potatoes can e made and frozen them. After making the mashed potatoes, allow them to cool completely before placing them in a freezer-safe container or an airtight freezer bag. Frozen mashed potatoes can be stored for one to two months.

These homemade mashed potatoes perfectly compliment turkey for your Thanksgiving Dinner.

Dinner Ideas with Mashed potatoes

Thanksgiving isn’t the only time to serve delicious homemade mashed potatoes! Here are some dinner ideas that pair perfectly with this side dish.

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the best mashed potatoes for thanksgiving

This recipe yields enough potatoes to feed a crowd! Oh! And don’t forget the Perfect Turkey Gravy – this recipe can be made with or without drippings! All you’ll need is butter, flour, black pepper, chicken or turkey stock and/or drippings!

If you make these mashed potatoes or any of my other recipes, please leave a comment and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you!

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4.80 from 5 votes

The Best Mashed Potatoes

Mashed Potatoes made with cream cheese and sour cream are fluffy, creamy and delicious!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 5 lbs Yukon gold potatoes – washed, peeled and cut into 2 inch chunks
  • Chicken broth or water to cover the potatoes
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 8 ounces butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • ¼ -½ cup milk
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ tsp garlic powder


  • In a large stock pot, add potato chunks along with 4 peeled garlic cloves. Add chicken broth or water to cover the potatoes. Bring to a boil and cook for 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender. Drain the liquid from the potatoes.
  • Return the cooked potatoes and 4 garlic cloves to the pan.  Add in butter, cream cheese, sour cream, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Using a potato masher or ricer, mash the potatoes until most of the clumps have been worked out and the potatoes are fluffy.
  • Add in milk, up to 1/2 cup, and continue mashing until the potatoes are smooth and fluffy. Add more milk if desired.
  • Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
  • Serve with Perfect Turkey Gravy 
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Mashed potatoes for thanksgiving dinner
mashed potatoes made with cream cheese and sour cream

Hi, I’m Ashley & I’m so happy you’re here!

Ashley is the founder of CenterCutCook and a former teacher that now spends her days in the kitchen so that she can share her favorite recipes with you!